Thursday, August 23, 2007

City Council and the "Yellow Ribbon" Campaigns

I've commented before on my objections to having City of Calgary vehicles festooned with "Support The Troops" decals.

I know that candidates like McIver are going to try and parlay this into something they can feed on for the coming civic elections, but that's another issue.

Today, The Globe and Mail commentary has it pretty much right:

But as he has identified, sporting the yellow ribbon is widely per-

ceived not just as an abstract form of well-wishing but as a highly charged political statement. That is not how it was originally intended, but in the United States, where it originated, it has since the Persian Gulf war of 1991 - and especially in the continuing war in Iraq - come to be seen as support for conflicts themselves. In this instance, to many Canadians that means a tacit endorsement of the decision to keep troops in Afghanistan.

Which is precisely my objection to splattering it all over city vehicles in the first place. As the Globe and Mail points out, civic governments have no say in the matter, and the image itself has been abused and misconstrued by those who would equate support for the troops with support for the mission they are carrying out.

Few and far between are the Canadians who don't support our troops, insofar as they wish them to return home safely. While roughly half the country opposes the mission in Afghanistan, only those on the furthest fringes fail to recognize the sacrifice our men and women make by serving there. And Mr. Bronconnier, who initiated a project to sell stickers to the public to raise funds for military families, can hardly be accused of indifference toward Canada's soldiers.

In short, there are those whose support for the troops does not extend to supporting the mission ... and thick-headed verbal bullies like Richard Evans keep claiming you must. (and he's of the "left wingers want to control your thinking crowd" ... oh the irony)

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